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How To Sell A Car In Tennessee  –  What Paperwork Is Needed?

How To Sell A Car In Tennessee – What Paperwork Is Needed?

The Tennessee Department of Revenue as well as all Tennessee county offices offer car sellers a very systematic approach to selling a car. Whether it’s getting a duplicate car title or something else, they take the difficulty away of how to sell a car in Tennessee!


So, read through our guide, ensuring you know what best practices to take, as you prepare for your sale!

Required Documents for Seller

Once you decide to sell your car in Tennessee, you will need to hand the car buyer the following papers:

  • Certificate of title.
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form RV-F1317001), if this applies to your particular sale

Additionally, the buyer may also request a bill of sale that includes your name, date of sale, and sales price.

You as the seller are also responsible for completing and delivering the Certificate of Title to the purchaser of the vehicle.

There is a top section on that paperwork titled “ASSIGNMENT OF TITLE BY REGISTERED OWNER

Located on the on the back of the Certificate of Title there is an area that you must fill out, for a vehicle sale between individuals.

According to TCA 55-3-127(d), the seller must enter the following information on the title:

  1. Sales price of car
  2. Date of sale
  3. Odometer reading, if the vehicle is less than ten years old
  4. Signature and printed name of seller or sellers
  5. The buyer’s name and address

Additionally, if the car sale is between blood members or the vehicle has a low selling price, you must also complete the Non-Dealer Transfer Affidavit. Then, this needs to be given to the buyer.

The State of Tennessee states that the seller’s are not to go with the vehicle. Tennessee also recommends that sellers make a copy of the back of the title after signed by buyer and seller.  You can click here to read more!

The registered owners of the car are the only people who can sign the front of the title. Additionally, if you alter or erase the Certificate of Title in any way, the State of Tennessee will see this and void the title.

how to sell a car in tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee Credit: Pixabay.com

Obtaining A New Title or a Title Transfer Fee

According to Tennessee state law, all vehicles that are on Tennessee roads have to be titled properly. You must also properly register your vehicle as well. There is sales tax that accompanies bot titling and registering your vehicle in Tennessee.

Shelby County, Tennessee offers a sales tax formula:

“Sales taxes will be calculated as follows:

  • Local Tax – 2.25% of the first $1,600 of the purchase price (maximum of $36)
  • Single Article Tax – 2.75% of the amount of the purchase price between $1,600.01 and $3,200 (maximum of $44)
  • State Tax – 7% of the entire purchase price.”

What if I Need A Duplicate Car Title Here in Tennessee?

The Tennessee Department of Revenue states that you can pick up a duplicate car title in person or by mail. But you must visit your local county clerk’s office.

“Lienholders and out-of-state applicants should apply through the office of the county clerk of the owner’s last Tennessee residence,” adds the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

You must present the following to get your duplicate car title:

  1. An application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title. Click here!
  2. A check or a money order that is $11. You can make out your check or money order to the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
  3. Verification that all liens have been met or satisfied & discharged from the car.

If you want to apply in person for a duplicate car title, here are the steps:

  1. Have your ID ready.
  2. Your power of attorney must have the witness of a notary.
  3. Click here for additional information from the Tennessee Department of Revenue!

Lien Notification

According to Tennessee law, the county clerks, rather than the Department of Revenue, must perform all extensions or mortgages, as well as notations of liens on the Certificate of Title. “The Department will continue to process applications for the notation of a second lien on a certificate of title” adds the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

Need to complete an Application of Noting a Lien form? Check out these steps!

  1. Fill out the form then send it.
  2. Make sure that you include all necessary paperwork. For example, you should also add the lien instrument and the owner’s Tennessee certificate of title, if there is no lien on the car.  In accordance with Tennessee protocol, an application for a duplicate title is not considered an acceptable form of documentation.
  3. You must pay all fees. a. lien notation fee- $11 per lien, b. county clerk fee, $5.50, c. state title fee, $5.50, d. county fees that vary by county.

How to Sell a Car in Tennessee – Vehicle History Report

You are a trustworthy seller and an honest seller. What better way to show this, than to give all perspective buyers a vehicle history report? This report shows if the car you are intending to sell, has been in an accident.

This report also shows if the car has flood damage or any frame damage.

You giving this report to your perspective buyer will even make your car sell faster! You are showing that you have nothing to hide from your buyer!

Click here to get a vehicle history report!

How To Sell a Car in Tennessee – Frequently Asked Questions

I am selling my vehicle. So, do I remove my plate, or does it go with the buyer? Here in Tennessee, you cannot transfer license plates to another person. Once the plate is registered to you, it is registered to you. You must also remove the plate when you sell a vehicle.

When  I sell my vehicle to a person, how do I go about transferring the title? As the seller, you must fill out the assignment of title by registered owner section. This is located on the back of your Tennessee title. Additionally, you will see a place for a seller signature, the printed name of seller, the date of the vehicle sale and the sales price. For a vehicle that is less than 10 years old, you must record the odometer reading in the green box. The new owner will print as well as sign her or his name, as the buyer. Their printed name and address should be placed on the long line at the top. This process is not complete until the new owner visits his or her County Clerk office. There, the new owner has to apply for the new title.

How can I get a duplicate copy of my car registration? You can get a copy of your registration at any of these locations that you click on NOW. Be sure to have your identification and plate number ready. You also have to pay a fee for a duplicate registration which is $3.00 plus an additional $2 if you ask Tennessee to mail it to you.

how to sell a car in tennessee

How to Sell Your Car in Tennessee  – Getting Your Car Ready for Quick Sale!

Congratulations on getting all of the knowledge you need, to sell your car! You know what paperwork you need and where to go and get it! Now, it’s time to get your car ready to sell! Check out our “sell your car fast checklist” below!

  • Ask to have your car inspected. Do you have a family member or a friend who is a mechanic? Call him or her and ask if they can take the time to inspect your car. You need to see what you’re working with. You may opt to sell your car as a car, or sell it’s parts. The decision is yours. But you have to know what you have.
  • Make small fixes or order new parts. If you want to pour a little bit of money into your car before you sell it and make a larger profit, then repair it a bit. For example, if you want to put a new set of brakes on your car do so! If you want to take the dents out of a fender, do that too! You should not feel obligated however, to make big fixes. You are selling a new car and folks will expect some things to not be “100%”!
  • Clean your car! Don’t forget to clean your car. No one wants to buy a dirty car! So, clean it on the outside as well as inside.
  • Remove money and personal items from the car. Most of us keep a few dollar bills and coins in the console of our cars. But to have a new owner drive off with them, would really “burn you up” inside, right? So, do a good sweep of personal property on that car you intend to sell!
  • Keep your price competitive. Sure, you want to make a profit, but try to keep your car competitive. You may also wish to see what others are selling their cars for, that are similar to yours!
  • Be safe! Never go with a buyer to an ATM, so he or she can get money out of it to pay you. Serious buyers always know to have payment ready. Also, ask for money orders or cashier checks. We don’t recommend accepting personal checks. Why? That check could be a resident of “bounce city” and you will never see money! But, then again, serious buyers know this. We just wanted you to be reminded of it.
  • Need a viable option for selling your car? Click here!